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How To Improve Change Management In NetSuite Using SuiteCloud Developer Framework (SDF)

NetSuite’s SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF) is a development framework and deployment mechanism. It provides a foundation for a structured development process and can be fully integrated into an existing software development lifecycle (SDLC) providing greater control and visibility into your NetSuite change management processes.

How SDF Works

Prior to the introduction of SDF, only SuiteScript source files could be downloaded from your NetSuite account for development outside of NetSuite. With SDF, this is now true for other customizations like custom record types, workflows, custom fields, NetSuite configuration, and many more. This is all made possible by representing these objects as XML. SDF provides the framework for downloading your catalog of NetSuite objects as XML so they can be manipulated in a development environment external to NetSuite, validated against your NetSuite account, and deployed to your development, sandbox, and production accounts.

Why You Should Use SDF

The answer here is simple: SDF is going to make managing change in your NetSuite environment easier. If that simple explanation is not enough, then keep reading to get a glimpse into some of the features that SDF provides.
Decoupled development environment – changes can be made in a development environment outside of NetSuite, enabling integration of external development and deployment tools. This also provides a more robust integration with development accounts.
Enhanced deployment experience – customizations can be validated against your NetSuite accounts prior to deployment and then deployed with robust audit trails to capture deployment changes.
Dependency management – dependencies between your NetSuite customizations can be searched and documented by SDF, enabling you to make changes with an understanding of which customizations will be impacted.
Source control / versioning integration – SDF integrates with any revision control system, enabling you to securely store your customizations, compare over time, and rollback changes if needed.

It’s free! – yes, SDF is a free feature in NetSuite.  You just need to go the Enable Features page and enable it (it’s located on the SuiteCloud tab).